DIY Envelopes + a Custom Cash Envelope Tutorial

making your own scrap book paper envelope

Today, I'm sharing all things envelopes!

This morning I led out in the craft for our church's Mom's Cafe, and we made our own envelopes. I love all of the pretty scrapbook paper options, but I don't scrapbook so it's fun finding other uses for it.

Receiving these pretty things in the mail would be so fun among all the junk and bills. Plus, they're incredibly useful if you're into couponing or use cash for budgeting (a la Dave Ramsey, see our cash envelope system >> here).

Keep reading for links to some of my favorite envelope tutorials, as well as my own tutorial on making a custom cash envelope system. Enjoy!

Envelope Tutorials

Cash Envelope System Template and Tutorial

This is a thorough tutorial including envelope templates. HOWEVER, the template is for a standard envelope, which is a little bigger than needed for cash and doesn't fit right in my wallet without getting bent up. I used her standard envelope template for the envelope pictured above that will be sent in the mail. Then I created my own cash-sized envelope template (see below).

Easy Tiny Envelopes

This tutorial shows how to open an envelope you already have and use it as a template to make more. This is perfect if you have a set of envelopes that you like but are running out, if you have a cardset but want to replace the basic white envelope that came with it, or if you receive a unique envelope and want to replicate it. This is probably easiest on mini envelopes, but could work on any size.

Heart Envelopes, Heart Envelope Card

These hearts-turned-envelopes are a fun idea. Perhaps a Valentine's project for the kids?

*Affiliate links used below. See full note at bottom of post.

How-to Make a Custom Cash Envelope System

Most tutorials I found for a cash envelope system use standard size envelopes, which are a little too big for the average wallet. Here is how to make your own template for a cash-sized envelope, with steps on creating the whole system for your wallet.

crisp dollar bill (or any other denomination of paper money)
plain paper
cardstock or lightweight cardboard (i.e., cereal box)
pretty paper
glue stick (rolling tape didn't work for me)
small hole punch
optional: labels, stickers, etc.

making a custom-cash envelope template

Making a Cash-Envelope Template

1. Trace bill to make a rectangle slightly larger than bill.

Place bill diagonally in the center of the paper. Begin tracing along one short side and one long side of bill. Scoot bill up about 1-2cm or 1/2 in. keeping it in line with the tracing already done. Finish tracing side and now top edge. Do again to complete the rectangle, making sure the lines connect to form four straight / even edges.

2. Mark points of triangle flaps.

Crease bill in half vertically and horizontally. Unfold, then refold vertically. Line up centered about 1/2 in. from one short edge and mark at center crease.

3. Trace triangle flaps.

Place bill diagonally and trace a straight line to connect corner with mark. Repeat to complete triangle. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for other short side of the template.

4. Mark point of bottom flap.

Place unfolded bill centered along bottom line and mark at bottom center crease. Draw a slight diagonal from corners to bill, about a 1/2 inch.

5. Draw lines of bottom flap. Repeat for top flap.

Use edge of bill to draw a straight line connecting short line to dot and repeat for other side. Repeat for top of template.

6. Cut out template. Fold in side flaps.

7. Fold up bottom flap, draw, and cut.

Fold up bottom and use bill to draw a straight line between sides. Cut along line. Finish folding envelope and make sure everything lines up and the front looks like a rectangle. Make adjustments if necessary.

8. Trace paper template onto cardboard or cardstock to create sturdier template.

Use a Sharpee or other thick marker to trace template onto a thin piece of cardboard or thick cardstock. (Cereal boxes from recycling work great--they're easy to cut but thick enough to make tracing easy.) Carefully cut out template staying on the inside of the thick line.

9. Cut out template and mark fold lines.

Carefully cut out template staying on the inside of the thick line. Mark that it's a cash envelope. Use it to make as many envelopes as you need, then hold onto for when you decide you want more or need to replace them.

Making Your Own Cash Envelopes

It's time to make some envelopes!

Place cardboard template on patterned paper. Trace with Sharpee or other thick marker. Cut on the inside of the thick line. Fold in sides (tips should be pointing to each other) and fold up bottom (should draw straight line between sides). Use glue to secure bottom flap to sides. (Rolling tape is shown, but it did not hold well, so I follow with a glue stick.)

Fold down top. Cut a slit to insert tip of flap if you wish for the envelope to remain closed when not in use. Or fold flap inside of envelope (easier done before gluing bottom and sides together).

Attach labels. A label folded along top is more useful when flipping through envelopes, especially if they will be kept in a wallet. Otherwise labels on the fronts of the envelop can be fun.

how to make a cash envelope system fit for a wallet

Making a cash envelope system for your wallet...

1. Trace and cut rectangle out of cardstock for back of envelopes.

Use folded envelope to trace a rectangle out of cardstock, craft paper or light cardboard. Cut out rectangle.

2. Punch matching holes in cardstock and envelopes.

Mark dots about an inch apart along one long side of rectangle. Use a small hole-punch to punch holes. Use rectangle to mark dots along bottom of envelopes, and punch holes.

3. Stack envelopes and weave twine or ribbon.

Stack envelopes, and use twine or ribbon to whip stitch envelopes and cardstock together. Feed twine in from bottom and wrap it around to go back up through the bottom of the next hole. Keep twine loose enough to flip through the envelopes easily.

4. Tie off ends of twine.

Make sure the twine is loose enough to flip through envelopes easily. Tie off at the ends.

5. Put rectangle into back of wallet.

Insert rectangle into the back pocket of your wallet, where a checkbook might go. Cash envelopes will rest inside the wallet when closed, and are easily accessible when you need them.

custom cash envelope system

cash category envelopes in wallet

cash envelopes in wallet

Happy envelope-making!


Also read:
new? start here...
our cash system + categories
diy pin-tucked duvet cover
budgeting basics: setting + sticking to a plan
dose of simple

*Amazon affiliate links used. Purchases made through these links could earn me a small commission with no extra cost to you. Thank you!